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Practice Homework
Thursday, April 18, 2013 3:25 PM

So, just because there's no practice today doesn't mean you get out of learning about Ultimate. I'd like you all to watch at least the first two of these videos sometime over the weekend. It's a good game though, so watch them all if you have time/feel like it! I've made a few notes about what to look for at certain times in the first two videos. (Parents, if you are fairly new to Ultimate, I'd recommend you watch the videos too! The commentators do a good job, I try to explain some parts of the game below, and you can always ask me questions about something you don't quite understand! Plus, it's fun!)

Part 1:

3:10 -- The first point. The pull goes out of bounds which allows Pitt to set up the disc at the brick mark, 20 yards down-field from endzone, in the center of the field. Pitt sets up in a Horizontal Stack. You'll notice that there are 4 Pitt players, fairly evenly spaced, lined up horizontally across the field, about 15-25 yards down-field from the player with disc. This is one common way of setting up your offense. (You might hear the commentators say "ho stack" a couple times throughout the game, which is short for "horizontal stack".)

5:18 -- The commentator says "vertical stack look." From 5:18-5:22ish you can see Pitt (white) line up 4 players in a vertical line in the center of the field. This is a vertical stack which is a common way of setting up your offense. It opens up both sides of the field for your players to cut to without having to worry about your teammates, or their defenders, getting in the way. Then, you see two cuts, one in toward the thrower, and one deep resulting in the score. Both come from the BACK of the stack. (The end furthest from the disc). This is exactly the offense that we will be learning, so it's kind of cool to see it in action, and fairly straightforward, here. (When the commentators say "vert look" or "vert stack", this is what they're referring to).

Those orange guys on the field are Observers. Simple explanation: Observers don't make calls--the players make calls--but if the players disagree they can appeal to the observer who then has the power to uphold or overturn the call.

Part 2:

6:30 -- a perfect view of yet another type of offensive formation. As the commentator says, this is an L Stack. You'll see that the first cut comes from the back of the stack, just like in the vert example from the first video. After the play gets started, this ends up looking a lot like a vert stack offense. Another thing you'll notice this point and many other times during the game: Alex Thorne is really good.

Throughout the game, try to notice the force. That is, when someone has the disc, the defender will rarely mark that offensive player straight up, but will instead stay on one side of them and prevent all throws to that side of the field, while leaving the other side of the field open. Then, the downfield defenders will line up on that open side of the field, and try to prevent cutters from getting open on that side of the field. In theory, this shuts down the whole field and makes it very difficult for the offense to complete any throws. In practice, however, it is very difficult for the defense to force any turnovers, because the offensive cutters always have the advantage of knowing when they're going to cut and where they're going, and it is very difficult to prevent a good thrower from throwing. Still, the the force is super important and we'll work really hard to learn it and implement it well.

Parts 3-6:

Ok, I know that was a ton of information! If you have any questions about it, just ask! I'll probably send a good women's game too later in the weekend.